Tuesday, 16 October, 2018

Frantic dig for Philippine victims of typhoon landslide

Sandra Phillips | 18 September, 2018, 00:50

More than 1,500 people sought shelter in temporary government relief centers and 391 were reported injured, according to Hong Kong broadcaster RTHK.

ANTHONY WALLACE/AFP/Getty Images Hong Kong began a massive clean-up on September 17 after Typhoon Mangkhut raked the city, shredding trees and bringing damaging floods, in a trail of destruction that left dozens dead in the Philippines and millions evacuated in southern China.

Mangkhut also felled trees, tore scaffolding off buildings under construction and flooded some areas of Hong Kong with waist-high waters, according to the South China Morning Post.

Philippine presidential adviser Francis Tolentino said the dead included an infant and another child who were among four people killed in a landslide in Nueva Vizcaya, one of several provinces battered by the typhoon.

Mangkhut earlier lashed the Philippines, sparking landslides and building collapses that killed at least 65 people, with another 43 missing.

Authorities said they believed many of those buried in the landslide were gold miners who'd been working illegally at a mine formerly operated by Benguet Corp., a Philippine mining firm.

Mangkhut's winds weakened to 105 miles per hour after the storm blew across Luzon island toward the South China Sea, aiming at southern China and Hong Kong, where residents braced for the worst.

Chinese media reported that more than 2.45 million people had been evacuated in mainland Guangdong province. "Prepare for the worst", Hong Kong Security Minister John Lee Ka-chiu urged residents.

Mangkhut made landfall in the Guangdong city of Taishan at 5 p.m. local time Sunday, packing wind speeds of 162 km/h.

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"Water is the most immediate need for now and also the water containers, so that the people can get more water", she said.

The Hainan provincial tourist department has ordered all scenic areas, schools and outdoor businesses to close on Sunday and Monday morning.

In the fishing village of Tai O, where many residents live in stilt houses built over the sea, some desperately tried to bail out their inundated homes.

It downgraded its warning level for the typhoon.

Debris lies at the bottom of an escalator during a No. 10 Hurricane Signal raised for Typhoon Mangkhut in Hong Kong, China, on Sunday, Sept. 16, 2018.

Lohas Park, a residential estate in the district, saw the windows of many of its units shattered by Mangkhut's strong winds, leaving the flats in a great mess.

Videos shared on social media showed Hong Kong apartments with flooded basements, flooded sports stadiums and reams of office paper flying out into the air through punctured high rise office windows.

Numerous losses were suffered in the town of Itogon in the Philippines' mountainous northern province of Benguet, where 34 villagers died and 36 remained missing Monday. Luzon farms produce most of the country's rice and corn.

Industry employees said it was the first time Macau had shut down gambling since licences for casinos were given out in 2002, the report added.

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